During Brodie Van Wagenen's days as an agent, he has had to deal with Yankees GM Brian Cashman on numerous. Now, the Mets GM will be interacting with his newly-found crosstown rival as his equal.
Cashman had nothing but kind words for Van Wagenen when asked about his new role during the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA.
"My deals with Brodie Van Wagenen as an agent has always been positive, transparent, very communicative, trustworthy," Cashman said. "So I think all those types of characteristics are great qualities of leadership...He was someone to easily pick the phone up and deal with. So, if you're an owner and he was able to have those things resonate with the Wilpons which clearly he did, that's the atmosphere of somebody you want to work with."
But those deals came in the past when Van Wagenen didn't have to worry about the politics that goes into deals. With the Mets and Yankees dynamic in New York, deals between the two teams are very rare to come by. Cashman has been in his position for 22 years, and through that experience, he has learned why it's hard to make a deal with any rival, let alone that Mets.
That doesn't mean he isn't open to making a deal, though.
"It's not my issue -- I've always been open," he explained. "I've made trades with the Mets in the past, I've dealt with Omar [Minaya] and Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette -- i did deals with all three of those guys. So my attitude is there's 29 other clubs. Obviously I'm open-minded to do anything with anybody. I'm not saying my ownership would feel the same way about that because I doubt they would've sanctioned me to trade [Aroldis] Chapman or [Andrew] Miller to Boston. I was willing to do that but I understand there's politics involved and you respect that.
"So it's not easy to be an owner, it's not easy to be a GM, but I don't know. I'll check in with Brodie here and see what they're up to, see if there's matches. I doubt you'll see us match up regardless because of the history and what I've experienced in the past. If I was a new GM and hadn't been here for 22 years and know the terrain, maybe I'd be optimistic, but I wouldn't be optimistic."
Van Wagenen made it a point to say that all options would open during his first offseason, and that included trading key assets like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. But Cashman doesn't believe he could land deGrom, right?
"You'd have to ask them," he said when he was asked about the Cy Young hopeful.
As both GMs embark on a very important offseason for both sides, Cashman congratulated Van Wagenen on his new role. However, at the end of the day, they are first and foremost rivals.
"I congratulate him on his new position," Cashman said. "He's a rival, so I'm not going to wish him luck. But I understand the attributes they saw in him that attracted them to eventually hire him."